Thursday 23 November 2017

Naked man who punched garda died after being chased

Gareth Naughton

GARDAI had no choice but to chase a man who died shortly after he was found running naked around a city suburb, an inquest has heard.

William Kavanagh (58), of Edenmore Crescent, Raheny, Dublin, died just after midnight on June 5, 2009, shortly after he was restrained by gardai who found him running naked in the Bayside area of north Dublin.

Mr Kavanagh, who punched a female garda in the jaw when she tried to calm him, became unwell after gardai handcuffed him and placed him in the recovery position. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived at the scene.

Dublin Coroner's Court previously heard from State Pathologist Marie Cassidy that Mr Kavanagh, who had been involved in a number of incidents earlier in the evening, was exhibiting symptoms of "excited delirium" in the hours before his death.

The condition leads to sudden, bizarre and often violent behaviour. Mr Kavanagh, who had significant cardiac disease, died as a result of a stress-related heart attack.

At the continuation of the inquest into his death yesterday, Garda Aidan Morgan said he and Garda Judith Notely had responded to a call about the naked man when they saw him running towards their car.

He got into the back seat and shouted, "Darndale, Darndale, Buttercup!" before getting out again.

The officers chased him on foot, and when Garda Notely put her hand on his arm to try to calm him down, he turned around and punched her on the jaw, said Garda Morgan.

"He attempted to hit Garda Notely again but she blocked the punch and grabbed hold of his arm," he said. "I grabbed his other arm and we tried to pull him to the ground. The fact that he had no clothing on made this very difficult."

Garda Morgan said there was no alternative but to chase Mr Kavanagh on foot because the area is full of alleys and lanes.

It was not until Reserve Garda Noel Cumiskey arrived that they were able to restrain Mr Kavanagh, bringing him to the ground and handcuffing him. Mr Kavanagh slowly calmed down and stopped shouting abuse.

Garda Cumiskey, who had recently completed CPR training, said he checked twice that Mr Kavanagh had a pulse and observed him breathing.

When the paramedics arrived they asked that Mr Kavanagh's handcuffs be removed and immediately began CPR. The inquest continues.

Irish Independent

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